May 5, 2012

Seriously Personalized Candles!

I first discovered this idea here, and I thought how cool it would be to make gifts for the kids grandparents using this technique. Just in case it worked, I took pictures during the process, so I could share it with you. And boy, did it work! The results were fantastic, and it was so rewarding for Ava to see her picture turn into a candle!

Ava didn't actually draw on the candle. She drew on tissue paper, which we heated onto the candle. You'll just have to try it yourself, and then you'll understand! :)

  • white candle
  • white tissue paper
  • regular white paper
  • wax paper
  • hair dryer or heat gun
  • scissors
  • tape
  • markers or pen for the drawing itself
STEP 1: First cut the tissue paper to fit around your candle, so you will be drawing within the correct dimensions. Tape the tissue paper to the regular white paper to eliminate bleeding through onto your tabletop. It will also make it easier to draw on the tissue paper. Now begin drawing/coloring. I encouraged my daughter (4 years old) to draw a scene and so to start with the ground.

STEP 2: Complete the drawing and don't forget to have your little one sign it! Ava drew baby Jesus in the manger, the angel, and Mary. So very sweet. Once the picture is complete, remove the tissue paper from the white paper and cut around the picture staying close to the edges. Eliminating blank tissue paper is the goal.

STEP 3: Wrap the tissue paper picture around the candle. Next wrap a piece of wax paper around that. (You can trim your wax paper down, but I didn't want to bother.)

STEP 4: Let your daughter take your picture :) while you use the blow dryer or heat gun (I don't have a heat gun). What you are actually doing is heating the candle so the wax will begin to melt. As it melts, the tissue paper will adhere (sort of melt into) the candle. In fact, you may notice the marker/artwork start to look "waxy" as it fuses with the candle. Take your time and work your way around the candle. I was holding the candle in this photo, but I soon learned to lay it down on the vanity, because my hand was getting hot from the hair dryer. If you aren't sure about your progress, you can take a minute to peel back the wax paper and see how things are looking. If it needs more heat, just lay the wax paper back over it and continue.

STEP 5: Now you are ready to completely remove the wax paper and reveal your awesome candle!

Ava has made three different candles. One was the nativity scene, another was a camping scene she drew based on her memories of camping with one set of grandparents, and the other was a beach scene she drew based on her memories of going to the beach with her other set of grandparents!

If you are worried that no one will burn the beautiful candle, because it seems wrong to burn up the child's artwork, I would suggest that you keep the white paper, which was under the tissue paper when your child was drawing. Chances are that the drawing is on it, too, because the markers bled through the tissue paper onto it. You can trace back over it to make it darker, or just give it as it is with the candle. Maybe then it will be easier for the loving recipient to burn the candle. :)

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